I've always appreciated fastidiousness in a man. So, as a new-to-romance reader about six years back, imagine how thrilled I was to find romance heroes seem rather fond of cleanliness.
More to the point, these guys adore regular showers, either solo - as a means of relieving wicked-mad sensual tension brought on by seemingly unrequited love/lust - or in a kind of wet and happy folie à deux in which he and a partner get crazy busy along the journey to HEA. I playfully suggest romance heroes -- often single handedly, as it were - can be attributed with the rise in romance fiction readers' interest in sexy, water-based love play.
My diggin' on the Lords of the Bath began with "Nerd Who Loved Me ," by Vicki Lewis Thompson, my first romance book. It had hot, joyful, slippery shower sex (safe, sane and protected) and a happily ever after that hooked me on romance after years of "good for me" lit w/nothing but heavy lifting in sight.
From there it was on to Marsha Canham, who seemed always to find a grotto with a voluptuous natural spring just right to lure to sexy hijinx -- and possible swordplay -- a piratical scoundrel and a ripe-yet-feisty-and-competent-in-some-manly-occupation-like-captaining-a-ship-or-something virgin.
Today, Kresley Cole's ( "If You Desire (MacCarrick Brothers Series #2) and Monica McCarty's ("Highland Scoundrel " ) strapping Highlanders and old-school, Marsha Canham-great storytelling hook one into loving the hot springs and lochs they find for wet/wild love play that moves forward their lovers' love tales.
Not everyone's turned on by water-play fantasy, of course. For some, visions of Busby Berkley flicks, bathing-capped swimmers in synchronized patterns and, yikers, the reality of water sex-related complications can be a turn off.
For those folks I suggest sticking to scenes like this one from Jo Davis' "Under Fire " It's sexually explicit and unequivocally adults only. And without a doubt the hero is, by scene's end, squeaky clean.
And some folks say romance is dirty.
Tell us about your favorite water or shower and bath scenes. Why do you think they're popular? Why do you think shower solo flights have become all the rage in erotic- and sensual romance?
Please check out my new article about romance, eBooks and RWA in Unabashedly Bookish (UB), "Green Is the Color of My True Love's Gear" here, plus all my UB romance features.